Adult Children

Gail - posted on 03/05/2015 ( 16 moms have responded )

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About 10 years ago my son brought home his now wife to meet me. Things did not go well. He is now married with 2 children. I haven't had a conversation with him in 7 yrs. I've not met the 1.2 yr old. His sisters know what went on but do all they can to keep the peace and stay in his life. My final explosion I so regret... I said things to him that weren't nice.. Being treated poorly had gotten to me. Now he is treating his grandmother ( my mother) the same way. Like she is not important. She's hurt. I'm hurt. None of us live close. I did apologize to him for my rant. I really don't think it hurt him. I think he was already done with me right after he met his wife. I raised my children without their dad. I had a reputation as a go to mom for advice. My children are strong bright and self supporting. But our relationships are stressed. I don't know what to do. I'm not welcome. The oldest turns 7 this month. I babysat him the first year of his life. I miss him. I'd like to meet the baby. I have never felt more insignificant as I do now. No I'm not perfect. But I'm a good person with lots to share. I've been depressed for 10 yrs. Counceled and felt better for awhile. But Im slipping into darkness again because this breaks my heart. I'm lost and concerned. My son and I were close. Now it's like it never was. Anyone have suggestions? Should I just go on and not be involved at all like this birthday gift to Sam ? My granddaughter said Sam misses me. But if the parents want me out should I just not push? It's so painful.

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Sarah - posted on 03/06/2015

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Have you considered reaching out to him on social media? Then you can see pics of the kids and at least keep up with the family. In the mean time, take the baby steps to reestablish communication?

Trisha - posted on 03/06/2015

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This is how I understand it:

When they first met, during their first dinner, his son's gf ate and immediately dismissed herself to watch a band. At that point she went off with a stranger and got drunk. This was not the way Gail wanted/expected her to act. She was expecting for her son's new partner to try to make a good impression. Her partner's gf ended up with a hangover and not communicating much the next day.
Son's gf got pregnant, and had a kid, without being married, (not a good thing from some families perspective, and then MIL made the suggestion to get married before they had a new one, so they did. Ceremony was not what MIL wanted/expected because it was only 5 minutes long. There was more focus on the party than the ceremony.

Mom has expectations of how her son's life should be, and he is not living up to it. Which caused an outburst and furthering tension on the relationship.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/06/2015

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Sounds to me like you got a bit too judgmental the day you met the girl, and rather than being a silent mom and allowing your adult son to make his own decisions, you kept pushing your ideas of what was right/wrong (example:She got pregnant. Had Sam. Then told me they were going to have another. I recommended marriage first. I went. But wasn't treated well. I brewed over this. Thus the explosion. The ceremony was 5 minutes. The party went on for days in Vegas. I left. My son said I sat the bar to high. I don't think I did. I deserve more respect than this.)

Sounds like the OP did not realize that her adult child had made his decision, and that he DID respect her by having a ceremony, when perhaps they'd rather not have done that, but she still feels that his adult relationship decisions should take into account her moral outrage?

And apparently, the OP also did not realize that a mother's words, no matter what age the child is, can still be harsh, hurtful and thoughtless (example: I did apologize to him for my rant. I really don't think it hurt him). "I really don't think it hurt him". But he cut you out. So, therefore, the final rant, combined with the over the top demands for respect, etc, DID hurt the man, to the point where he felt it best to mitigate damage and move forward.

At this point, I would recommend that OP recognize the grandchildren's birthdays, if she wishes, but to back down on her expectations for her son. Let the man live his life and make his decisions. Perhaps, slowly, if OP can demonstrate that she's not going to be pushy and demanding, then son and DIL will allow her to be involved again.

Trisha - posted on 03/06/2015

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Start with shared interests, and then start asking about the kids and the wife I think is probably a good way to go.

Are there any cars you were interested in? That you could call him up and ask his opinion about?

Gail - posted on 03/06/2015

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That makes sense. I need to find common ground with my son. We used to race to the highest credit score. Look at cars and buy and sell them. But being those were our interest I'd like to find a way to talk to him about his life today. Talk about myself? Him? Kids?

Trisha - posted on 03/06/2015

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Gail, can I correctly assume that you had a very close relationship with your own mom, and wanted her there for every personal celebration? And you are upset/offended now that your son doesn't have that same sort of relationship with you?

Trisha - posted on 03/06/2015

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No, I absolutely do not think that you need to ignore the baby's birthday. My suggestion would be to talk to your son, and ask him how you can help.

I would even go as far to talk to him/your daughter in law and let them know that you want to have a relationship, and it will be hard for you to adjust, but you understand that they will live his life the way they thinks is best for them, and that you will try your best to respect that.

Start VERY small.

Because I am very busy, I started with an email to my mom once a week. I committed to sending her an email every Thursday (it was scheduled on my phone). I wrote it when I was in transit to and from work. She wrote me back every time. Eventually that email turned into a more convenient phone call. We still have our issues, but we are working through them.

Gail - posted on 03/06/2015

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I think you have shown me something here. Thank you. Like I said my son says I sat the bar to high. Maybe this is key. Thank you.

Gail - posted on 03/06/2015

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His hurt. I wish I knew. He won't talk to me about it. I've only heard what his now wife told me. When I asked my son he said it wasn't true. He didn't say what she told me. I tried but got pushed away. He had many girlfriends prior. I'm still friends with all of them and their parents. At the wedding I was flabergasted as I was told no special colors etc.. I get there andeveryone had on blue. Very planned. Then his father walked him in they stopped in front of me. I thought for a hug. But they're turned away rudely. His father left me for a younger woman. He has two children with her and we were close with the kids. The daughter said she hoped no one got hurt right before the service. So I figured it was planned . Thus my reaction.

Sarah - posted on 03/06/2015

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I still don't understand what happened to cause such a rift. She behaved poorly at first, maybe she was nervous. You got along ok until the wedding, then had a fight? The hard part about making amends is the other party must be open to receiving the apology. Have you you reached out to your son directly?

Trisha - posted on 03/06/2015

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My mom has been starting to learn, thought she hates it, that no matter what she wants I am going to do it my way anyways. Ultimately, the only thing she has any control over, or impact in is how she reacts to my decisions, which ultimately impacts the relationship we have.
I am not making bad decisions, but they don't really take her wants and needs into concern, because I am busy putting myself, my husband and stepson first. She always believes in putting the kids first, so my stepson coming first, but myself and husband...we are lower on the totem pole.
It is a strained relationship, I admit, and she is less than happy most of the time, but right now we have a relationship.

I don't know if this is the right way to do things, but it might be worth you stepping back and just acknowledging that they are going to do things their way, and you have no control over it, and you will do your best to not take anything personally.

Gail - posted on 03/06/2015

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They invited me to supper. I arrived on time. She said she had ate and got up to watch the band. My son and I ate and went to join her. She then left with a total stranger and we waited 2 hrs for her return. She was toast when she returned. He hid her from me but I saw him literally drag her out. Next day we took my boat out and she slept off a hangover. So we said hi and that's about it. From there it only got worse. She got pregnant. Had Sam. Then told me they were going to have another. I recommended marriage first. I went. But wasn't treated well. I brewed over this. Thus the explosion. The ceremony was 5 minutes. The party went on for days in Vegas. I left. My son said I sat the bar to high. I don't think I did. I deserve more respect than this.

Jodi - posted on 03/05/2015

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"About 10 years ago my son brought home his now wife to meet me. Things did not go well."

You have focused on apologising for your final explosion, but it sounds very much like it started all the way back here and the only way to mend things, or at least patch them a little, is to start with this. So what happened that did not go well when you first met his now wife? Perhaps understanding HIS hurt is a start.

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